But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light
1 Peter 2:9
Talking to outsiders about the way I was raised in the FOC, with all its accompanying restrictions, rituals, and atypical beliefs, can be awkward. It can lead people to think of me as some kind of sheltered oddball who had that “weird” upbringing. When I have confessed to having been born at home, never having been inoculated, kissing people on the lips at church, being forbidden from making friends outside a closed group of people, and that all of my childhood friends have shunned me, I get these types of responses:
“I can’t believe that!”
“Did you grow up in the United States?”
“Did you live on a commune?”
“Are your parents cousins?”
As a mother, I now experience a lot of firsts through my children: well child visits, shots (ouch, the kids say they hurt – and I’ll take their word for it), vacation bible school, AWANA, summer sleep away camp, soccer practice, cub scouts, ballet. My son will go to Outdoor School next year, an event I desperately wanted to participate in when I was in sixth grade. And, he’ll go to school dances. These are things I couldn’t do. These are common things that most people experience. My life was not common.
I’m not complaining about my unbelievable upbringing. It is what it is (or, it was what it was). It’s part of what makes me who I am today. And I don’t mind being unusual.